RCPsych commitments for an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace

In January 2022, the College carried out a ground-breaking survey of College members. 

The research findings were truly shocking, showing that one in two LGBTQ+ psychiatrists have experienced hostility at work because of their sexuality or gender identity.  

We know that discrimination in all its forms damages mental health and has no place in our society, including the workplace. It’s clear that, more than ever, we need to foster a culture that is safe and inclusive for all workers.

As a result of this work, we are now asking all mental health service providers in the UK to sign up to the RCPsych commitments on promoting an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace for staff. 

The commitments

In order to promote LGBTQ+ friendly workplaces, all mental health service employer bodies should:

  1. Make a clear commitment to tackling all forms of discrimination against LGBTQ+ staff, including bullying, harassment, microaggressions and a promise to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 
  2. Adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ staff
  3. Introduce clear and transparent processes for the reporting and investigating of any form of bullying, harassment or microaggressions of/against LGBTQ+ staff
  4. Establish an independent support line for all staff, providing advice to those affected by bullying, harassment and microaggressions
  5. Collect and report at Board level EDI data each year, including bullying, harassment and microaggressions, and publish an annual summary on the organisational website
  6. Encourage LGBTQ+ managers to be positive role models for LGBTQ+ staff and others  
  7. Create a welcoming workplace environment for people who are LGBTQ+, for instance through issuing badges, posters and rainbow lanyards
  8. Roll out bespoke training for senior leaders and managers, as well as all other staff to help them understand the experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ people, as well as the issue of intersectionality
  9. Develop and support LGBTQ+ staff networks to have a cross organisational level of influence, including regular meetings with the Chief Executive 
  10. Consider appointing LGBTQ+ advisors to participate in policy/ service development, recruitment panels and inductions
  11. Encourage LGBTQ+ employees to share their personal stories with other staff, for instance via blogs, to encourage allyship 
  12. Join appropriate workplace equality schemes.